Terry Rozier signed with the Charlotte Hornets; but before that, he was set to join the New York Knicks in free agency.
Free agency filled a handful of needs for the New York Knicks; among them, they signed a point guard, Elfrid Payton, to fill the depth chart with Dennis Smith Jr., who arrived via trade in January. This group set itself up for the 2019-20 season, but it could have featured someone instead of Payton.
Terry Rozier was once linked to the Knicks in free agency, before the June 30 kick-off. He spent the past four years with the Boston Celtics as a reserve point guard, aside from the playoff outburst in 2018, amid Kyrie Irving‘s injury.
However, Rozier spurned the Knicks in free agency and signed with the Charlotte Hornets. Losing Kemba Walker to the Celtics opened the starting role and a major payday, even with the questionable roster from top to bottom.
As the Louisville product told Bleacher Report, though, he was, basically, a Knick, as free agency prepped to began, despite the moratorium period not set to start until June 30. The Phoenix Suns followed with a “bigger, better offer,” which impacted New York, but an incoming offer from Charlotte, led by owner Michael Jordan, set up his arrival to the state of North Carolina:
"“Mike was overseas, and I can just picture him probably having a cigar in his mouth and the words he told Mitch [Kupchak], the GM, was like: ‘Get him over here. Do what you need to do to get him over here.'”"
The Suns’ offer may have ended New York’s chances, but the Hornets swooping in did the trick, and it placed Rozier as arguably the lead player on a team that floated around the playoffs in recent seasons, but, of course, lost its best player. Walker was proven, and Rozier is a mystery.
If the four-year man signed with the Knicks, who knows how the roster shapes up. He received three years, $58 million from the Hornets, while Payton took an $8 million base salary. The prices vary, and it could have limited the financial flexibility to sign Wayne Ellington, Marcus Morris and Reggie Bullock, each of whom was later signings in the free agent process.
Smith Jr.’s role might have sat in the air even more. He already has the task of winning the point guard job in training camp and the regular season, but Rozier potentially represented the higher financial commitment.
The situation sorted itself out, and the New York Knicks have their point guard foundation for the upcoming season. The question is who will separate himself as the starter?